When those demanding days are getting out of hand, expectations are mounting and your to-do list is starting to look like Marcel Proust’s ‘Remembrance of things past’, relaxation is probably the last thing on your mind.

No matter how busy our lives become, incorporating a little relaxation into our routine is essential, for our health, sanity and productivity.

If melt-down is fast approaching and you’ve only minutes to spare, we’ve got our top relaxation fixes to help you unwind.

  1. Breath
    The quickest and simplest way to de-stress is to control your breathing. When we are stressed our breathing automatically reflects it, it quickens and shortens, making us feel even more on edge. Close your eyes, slowly breath in through your nose for the count of 4, hold and gently release through your mouth for 5 seconds.
  2. Put on some music. Choose a song that reminds you of a happy, carefree time and save this to your playlist, ready for you to listen to whenever you feel that tension rising. Music has an amazing power to transform your mood. Try creating playlists to influence your mood.
  3. Wear something comforting. Who doesn’t love a day spent in their cosies, whilst going to work in our P.J’s would be frowned upon, try to incorporate an item of clothing or accessorythat you find comforting. The feel of a soft wool cardigan, satin scarf or blouse can have a similar effect to the relaxation we get when stroking our pets.
  4. Eat some chocolate. Don’t pig out but just a small piece of dark chocolate has been proven to have the power to calm your nerves. Don’t rush that little piece of magic, let it melt on your tongue and allow its taste to seduce your tastebuds.
  5. Hand care. Invest in your favourite hand cream and take some time to massage your hands. Slide your thumb, with a comfortable amount of pressure, up and down and across your palms and up to the tips of your fingers to release tension. When finished with the massage breathe in the scent of the cream, through your hands.
  6. Stretch. A good stretch can ease stress, relax your muscles, stimulate the oxygen flow in your body and just simply, feel good. Stand up, raise your arms up into the air, clasp your hands together and stretch behind you, keeping your hands high in the air.
  7. Close your eyes. The simple act of closing your eyes for a few minutes can be a powerful way to help you relax and recharge.
  8. Have a cuppa. Make yourself a cup of tea and take the time to drink it. Don’t do anything else, take a break and enjoy its comforting warmth. For an extra bonus, drink green tea which is rich in L-Theanine helping to ease stress and anger.
  9. Focus on an object. Take a common object, a flower, a piece of jewellery, even just a pencil will do. Study it. Take in its shape, colours, smell and feel. Focusing on this object will help you block everything else out and quieten your mind.
  10. Get some fresh air. Take a walk, if you can, don’t think too much about where you can go in ten minutes or less, just go out and walk. Breath in the fresh air, clear your mind and stretch those pins.

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